Friday, September 27, 2013

Everybody's talking about Pope Francis!

The interview of Pope Francis conducted over three days by his fellow Jesuit Antonio Spadaro did more than spark a few headlines: it got the whole world talking about what the Pope had said (or not said, as the case may be). There's always a risk involved in going off-script, but Francis clearly believes that it is worth it--and he seems to hope that the world's one-billion-plus Catholics will be able to carry their part of the conversation forward.

Many people seemed to get the Pope exactly wrong. Some fervent Catholics are troubled (perhaps they believe the headlines?), wondering if Francis is selling out on key applications of Catholic doctrine, or making political statements ("I'm not a right-winger" means one thing in the US context; something very different for a person who lived through Argentina's "dirty wars").

America (Jesuit weekly) has a number of thoughtful posts on what has got to be the journalistic coup of the magazine's more than a century-long history.

And one scholar suggests that the discomfort being expressed by many anxious Catholics is an invitation to transform the uncertainty into reflection. The article offers some helpful distinctions about the difference between, say, an interview and an encyclical, as well other insights that shed extra light on the Pope's words.

Here are some additional posts on an interview that deserves to be read carefully, reflected over, and prayed with.

Archbishop Chaput responds to many people's questions, concerns, fears.

An initial post from Patheos editor, Elizabeth Scalia,
Followed by this brief "spiritual antivenin" by the same author
and then a bit of context for those who worry that the Pope might be soft on abortion
and a poignant reflection on the would-be patients in the "field hospital" that is Francis' vision of the Catholic Church
(All of the above from the prolific and profound Scalia.)

Keeping Up with Francis (by Daughter of St. Paul nunblogger, Sister Anne)
First thoughts about the Francis Interview (by Father John Zuhlsdorf)
Pope Francis' Comments about Homosexuality in the Big Interview (by Father John Zuhlsdorf)