March 19, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY -- Before crowned heads, government leaders and masses of the faithful, Pope Francis formally took office Tuesday as head of the Roman Catholic Church in a ceremony replete with pageantry and symbols from ancient Christendom. In a homily, the church's 266th pontiff exhorted his listeners and 1.2 billion followers to care for the environment and for other people, especially the poor and forgotten -- themes closely associated with the saint whose name he picked for his own as pope, Francis of Assisi.
March 13, 2013 |
The Vatican clarified Wednesday that the new pope -- the first to take the name Francis -- will be known as Pope Francis, not Pope Francis I. The Wednesday bulletin issued by the Vatican announcing his selection as pope called him simply Francis, as did the cardinal who announced his name from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica. “It will become Francis I after we have a Francis II,” Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi quipped to the Associated Press. The new name, taken by Argentine Jesuit Jorge Bergoglio, marks the first time that the leader of the Roman Catholic Church has chosen to be known as Francis.
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.
December 17, 2013 |
Journalists and liberal Roman Catholics are making much - perhaps too much - of Pope Francis' decision to remove a conservative American cardinal from the congregation that helps choose bishops. The New York Times said that the pope “moved … against” Cardinal Raymond Burke by not reappointing him to the Congregation of Bishops. That makes the decision to (in effect) replace Burke with Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., sound more punitive than it might be. It's true, however, that Burke is the darling of “rad trad” (radical traditionalist)
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....