Sunday, February 21, 2016

Pope Francis Roundup



  • Francis and Kirill: Who Played Whom? Catholic World Report 02/13/16. Five details from yesterday's historical meeting suggest that while the Russian Patriarch may have thought he was first violin, the Jesuit Pope was conducting the orchestra.

  • Seven Thoughts on the "Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, by Carl E. Olson. Catholic World Report 02/12/16. The historic text is largely and thankfully free of boilerplate language and is remarkably lean and focused, while skirting the delicate matters of Ukraine and Eastern Catholics.

  • Francis and Kirill: Smoke and Mirrors, by Boniface. Unum Sanctum 02/11/16. "It is mind-boggling that uniatism is rejected as a model for reconciliation, since uniatism has historically been the single most successful method of reconciling the Orthodox."

  • Pope Francis and Catholic Traditionalists: 20 Questions for Kenneth Wolfe Catholic World Report 02/13/16. The Rorate Caeli contributor offers his thoughts on the current papacy and on growing interest in the pre-Vatican II liturgical tradition.

  • Should Pope Francis celebrate the Reformation?, by Fr. Dwight Longenecker. 02/11/16:
    In commemorating the Reformation, we should be honest and realistic. The Protestant Reformation shattered Western Christendom and led to war, schism, division, heresy, and strife. But if we are honest, we should also consider the contributions the churches of the Reformation have made to world Christianity over the past 500 years, the greatest of which was the renewal of the Catholic Church known as the Counter Reformation. It was, arguably, only because of the reformers’ critiques of the Catholic Church that the great wave of 16th- and 17th-century renewal and missionary work could have taken place.

  • Pope Francis: Praxis vs. Doctrine?, by Andrea Gagliarducci. Monday Vatican 02/25/16. "“Realities are more important than ideas.” This is one of the four principles Pope Francis lists in “Evangelii Gaudium,” the apostolic exhortation that represents a sort of program for his pontificate. This principle will perhaps be put into practice in the upcoming months, in another apostolic exhortation, the second by Pope Francis. Who Pope Francis really is will be understood thanks to this document."

  • The Pope Who Didn’t Like Catholicism OnePeterFive. 12/2/15:
    If you are a typical observant Catholic who has struggled with this papacy, dealt with distress caused by his words and actions, and generally struggled with dislike for the pontifex, it’s OK. Well, all right, it’s not: honestly, it is both strange and painful for a Catholic to be at odds with the Successor of Peter.

    It is, however, completely understandable.

    Why? Because, in this case, he gives every indication of not liking you first.

    In fact, I think it’s safe to say that we are dealing with the fascinating–and unique–spectacle. Namely, a Bishop of Rome who truly dislikes the Church.

  • 2015: The Year Catholics Misunderstood the Pope: Four seasons of Francis rocking our world, by Tom Hoopes. Aleteia. 02/28/15:
    Pope Francis demonstrates all the good that you get from a pope who has an emphatic, plainspoken style. He also shows the confusion it can cause. Some say, “What more does he have to do before you admit Pope Francis is trouble?” But you can look at the man who keeps a Way of the Cross and a Rosary in his pocket and also say, “What more does he have to do before you admit he is devout and faithful?”
  • The Off-the-Cuff and Out-of-Focus Papacy, by Carl Olson. Catholic World Report 12/01/15. Since chastising orthodox bishops at the conclusion of the Synod, Pope Francis has often resorted to scoldings, ambiguities, and mixed messages:
    ... There is one key moment of the 2015 synod that Weigel does not mention—the moment that was, for me, the most revealing of all: the final address by Pope Francis to the synod fathers. I've read and studied hundreds of papal texts, and I've never read anything quite like it. It was a sort of papal tantrum, quite unbecoming both the office and the man. Sure, this pope is known for his scolding. But that address was a new and disconcerting low, and anyone who has been following this pontificate and these synods knows that the Holy Father's scathing remarks were aimed squarely at those bishops who had stood their ground on the matter of Holy Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

  • Cardinal Sarah, Bishop Schneider Respond to Pope’s Comment on Intercommunion "It’s not a matter of following your conscience", by Dianne Montagna. Aleteia 11/30/15:
    Earlier this month, Pope Francis stirred controversy when he expressed comments about intercommunion while addressing a gathering of Lutherans in Rome.

    Responding to a question from a non-Italian Lutheran woman who voiced her regret that she couldn’t receive Holy Communion with her Catholic husband, the pope said that while he would never dare give permission for her to receive the Eucharist because it’s not his competence or jurisdiction, he said she should “talk to the Lord and then go forward.”

    Owing to confusion over the pope’s words, we asked Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, Kazakhstan, for their opinion on the matter.

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