Wisdom Wednesday: Ten years ago, new Pope Francis asked the well-wishing multitudes to pray for him. Let’s do that again as we scroll through analysis of his impact on the church and world.
Topics this week also include the synodal path, migration, celibacy, climate change, same sex couple, Florida evangelicals, J. Edgar Hoover and Christian Nationalism. And we end with a provocative question: Is God he, she or they?
Tenth Anniversary of Pope Francis
National Catholic Reporter
- Feature Series: NCR marks 10 years with Pope Francis and his leadership, through reports, essays, commentary, events — and even a certain comic strip. We’ll examine the decade past and the years to come for Francis, a pope who seems tore-define for a new generation a special spirit born three generations ago
- An editorial: over 10 years, Pope Francis has opened the church reform door. Time to step through.
- A feature from Christopher White: “All the pope’s Jesuit men: 10 years of Ignatian influence under Francis.”
- A climate-focused report from Brian Roewe: “At 10-year mark, Pope Francis seen as a global leader on the environment.”
Religion News Service
- Pope Francis at 10 years shows “a reformer’s learning curve.” The pope who once envisioned a papacy of ‘two or three’ years shows no signs of slowing down.
- 10 years after Pope Francis’ election, a look back at his papacy.
America provides a Youtube video on the top 10 moments of Francis’ papacy.
Critics of Francis
- Cardinal Gerhard Müeller criticizes the pope, but denies being an adversary, during an interview with La Croix International.
- Bishop Thomas Paprocki’s published work gets attention from NCR’s Michael Sean Winters, in a column about bishops who use social media. He leads off with Bishop Paprocki and his online criticism of Cardinal McElroy and what he told my colleague Brian Fraga in an interview last week. His comments were a ham-fisted attempt to justify his article at First Things implying San Diego Cardinal Robert McElroy was a heretic. Winters says, “Hey, Bishop Paprocki. You’re no Athanasius!”
More from Pope Francis
In La Croix International, Massimo Faggioli writes, “All roads lead to… the Synod in Rome.” We begin the countdown to the first of two Synod of Bishops assemblies looking at the future of the Catholic Church”
In an interview published Friday (March 10), Pope Francis called celibacy in the priesthood a gift from God but also a ‘provisional’ discipline observed mostly in the Western Church that is not essential to ordination.
Memory: And then the rain stopped
Remembering the day Pope Francis was elected and how, ten years on, he has made the Church a brighter, more welcoming place for all.
Commonweal asks “Why Does Francis Focus on Migration?”
The Church Around the World
The Catholic bishops and laity of Germany have completed three years of work, ratifying proposals for Church reform that must now be discussed with the Vatican.
German Catholic bishops back blessings for same-sex couples. Delegates of a synodal assembly on the reform of the Catholic Church adopted a paper to allow blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples from 2026.
Meanwhile, the Church of England bishops head for showdown on marriage for same-sex couples. In the next few months, this long-running debate on marriage for same-sex couples may come to a head.
France’s Catholic bishops’ conference agreed to provide reparations after a 2021 report estimated some 330,000 children were sexually abused over 70 years by priests or other church-related figures in France.
Defiance in Iran
Women across Iran are refusing to wear headscarves, in open defiance of the regime
Trump vs. DeSantis
Florida pastors mull conservative issues.
J. Edgar Hoover and Christian nationalism
In ‘The Gospel of J. Edgar Hoover,‘ Stanford professor Lerone Martin details how the longtime FBI director shaped the belief in America as a Christian nation.
Christian nationalism in Idaho
Religious and secular activists work to fight Christian nationalism. In a recent editorial, Episcopal Bishop Gretchen Rehberg decried Christian nationalism as ‘heresy for Christians and dangerous rhetoric for all Americans.
Faith and Works
Working with several dozen freelance journalists around the world, a team at USC has identified and profiled 104 “spiritual exemplars” who are engaged in notable humanitarian work inspired by their faith, representing 13 traditions from 42 different countries.
Mormons excluded Blacks
Paul Reeve’s new book argues the decision to ban Blacks from priesthood and the temple began with Brigham Young but wasn’t fully entrenched until the early 1900s under Joseph F. Smith.
Four women who worked for ex-Catholic Priest Frank Pavone have accused him of sexual aggression. And groping is not this bigot’s only exercise in misogyny. He is the long-time director of the fanatical anti-abortion group “Priests for Life” and is a luminary in the top ranks of anti-choice crusaders.
Free Leonard Peltier
At 78 years old, the Native activist is considered the longest-serving political prisoner in the U.S. The fiftieth anniversary of Wounded Knee was recently observed, but Peltier is still in prison. Sign the petition to free him HERE.
Reparations – Discussion suggestions
Should the Church make reparations to the descendants of enslaved people? News Decoder offers a commentary and a set of questions to discuss this significant moral question.
At Gonzaga, Cardinal Czerny calls universities to take climate action.
Identity: Black, Jewish, Hispanic?
Some Americans want their ancestors’ enslavement recognized in how they are identified. What do race and ethnicity mean? The US government is asking.
Why pronouns used for God matter
With the Church of England considering gender-neutral language to refer to God, a feminist theologian explains how Christianity has historically recognized many pronouns to refer to the divine.
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