Young people wear bracelets that say "WWJD" - what would Jesus do? I propose a new award, that will be bestowed at this blog as needed, the What Pope Francis Meant To Say award. It shall go to those people who take this plain-speaking pope's words, which really stand on their own and do not need much in the way of explication, and try and contort them to fit an agenda that is plainly not the pope's. And the first winner of the WPFMTS award is.....drumroll.....Kathryn Jean Lopez. In her analysis of Pope Francis' interview, published at National Review Online, she writes, "That’s very much the Evangelical Catholicism George Weigel talks about, using that same Emmaus-road image, by my quick read." Of course, Mr. Weigel has long championed the kind of culture war approach to evangelization that Pope Francis is explicitly distancing himself from. Mr. Weigel, you will recall, penned an item for the Wall Street Journal before the conclave that was titled, "The New Pope Should Be a Culture Warrior." And, Mr. Weigel's book "Evangelical Catholicism" suffers from a deficient understanding of Catholic ecclesiology, precisely along the fault lines of sacramentality that so obviously are at the heart of the new pope's vision, as John Cavadini has so brilliantly demonstrated in his review of Weigel's book, at First Things. Ms. Lopez may read Francis and hear Weigel, and think the rest of us should use her particular set of earphones. I think not and award her the first WPFMTS award.
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In This Issue
- Talk of Latinos' potential political clout dominates La Raza gathering
- Editorial: Pope Francis' exhortation to walk on the margins makes us squirm
- Philippine church takes lead on Francis' environmental encyclical
- Special Section Preview: Social Justice
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by Joshua J. McElwee NCR Today