Are the judgments of Francis driven by real concern for the people in the pews or by portfolio management?
Schisms and rumors of schisms troubled the end of summer as preparations began in Rome for the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region—at least among folks who comprise what is known as Catholic Twitter. On that occasionally benighted platform, 240-character communiqués from crowds of Henny Pennies in all corners of the church’s various cultural blocs weighed in with the latest news about the internal crumbling of the church.
Clarity would be easy, but our baptismal calling is more challenging.
Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to consecrate the world by his most loving presence,
was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and when nine months had passed since his conception,
was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah,
and was made man
—The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh
The synod is a powerful lesson to spread filial love for all of creation.
On October 15, 2017 Pope Francis announced that the Pan-Amazonian Synod would be taking place in Rome. The goal of the synod is to seek out new paths for evangelization, particularly in the area known as Amazonia, and shape “a Church with an Amazonian face,” according to the preparatory document for the synod published by the Vatican. The synod documents follow Pope Francis’ urging that care for creation necessarily includes care for the poor.
At the Amazon synod, the church must stand with indigenous people to protect creation.
The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region was controversial long before this fall. Self-described orthodox Catholics have worried over its potential impact far from the Amazon. One of the issues to be discussed at the synod is the acute shortage of priests in the nine countries that make up Amazonia.
The church can ill-afford to be so discouraging toward women.
“We are Catholics, but if any of you want to found another church you are free to go.”
Pope Francis was responding to a religious woman’s question at the May 10 meeting of the International Union of Superiors General in Rome. The question asked about Francis’ recent announcement that a theological commission examining whether women should become deacons had not reached a definitive conclusion, rendering the issue effectively dead for the moment. “In the case of the diaconate, we have to see what was there at the beginning of revelation,” the pope told her.
A look into what Pope Francis’ five-year tenure means for Catholics.
Large companies in financial trouble often seek out a specific type of CEO known as a “turnaround artist.” These leaders—think Lee Iacocca at Chrysler or Steve Jobs at Apple—are willing to take risks and upset settled ways of doing things. They tend to be controversial and either succeed or fail in spectacular fashion.
A celebration of youth and God's mercy brings people of all ages together.
“It is up to us to see God in those people who are suffering,” Pope Francis declared during one of his passionate homilies during the 15th World Youth Day, held in Kraków, Poland during July 2016. “When we reach out to the persecuted, the homeless, the migrant, and the refugee, we touch the face of Jesus. In the face of evil, suffering and sin, the only response is the gift of oneself, even one’s life, in imitation of Christ.”