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.
December 2, 2013 |
During a four-hour visit to a church near Rome on Sunday, Pope Francis shared with parishioners some of the finer points of his résumé, including a stint working as a bouncer. The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, reported that the pope told a group of parishioners at the church of San Cirillo Alessandrino about his earlier jobs, which also included sweeping floors and running laboratory tests, according to a report from the Catholic News Service. Many were quick to note that nightclub bouncers are not exactly known for the inclusiveness that has marked Pope Francis' reputation during his first year.
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.