The Francis Chronicles
There's a lot to love in this interview in America magazine. You can feel a refreshing breath of fresh air with Pope Francis' emphasis on the church as the People of God and in statements like, "We should not even think ... that 'thinking with the church' means only thinking with the hierarchy of the church." Whoa! That opens a lot of freedom of thought in one sentence.
Analysis: While reading the interview, I felt like I was in a Jesuit living room having a conversation with a brother. Let me share with you my first reactions.
Chris Hayes of MSNBC has declared Pope Francis "the best pope ever."
Hayes anchors an evening current affairs program on MSNBC called "All In with Chris Hayes." He apparently was raised Catholic but stopped going to church in college. He did not say he was returning to church next week, but he did say he thought the pope was awesome.
With all the growing focus of attention on Pope Francis – including these very Francis Chronicles -- Elizabeth Scalia, managing editor of the Catholic Channel at Patheos.com and author of "Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life," asks a compelling question: “Are we making an idol of the man?”
Pope Francis today renewed his call for Catholics and all Christians to continue praying for peace in the Middle East, especially Syria.
He reminded pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square for his general audience today that Sept. 21 is "International Day of Peace," and that the world Christian leaders have called for all their members to pray for peace on that day.
Below is a Vatican Radio English translation of the Pope’s words.
The Francis Chronicles: The host of The Daily Show talked about Pope Francis and his penchant for calling people on his show Monday.
The Catholic church is like the widowed mother of Nain in today’s Gospel from Luke, Pope Francis tells us. According to Vatican Radio, the pope sees the church as a mother who protects her children so that she can bring them to Jesus, just as the woman from Nain brought to him her son who had died. He goes on to call her “an icon of the church, because the church is in a sense widow.”
The full text of a letter by Pope Francis to Dr. Eugenio Scalfari, a journalist at the Italian newspaper, “La Rebubblica” has been published on the Vatican website:
In the letter, Francis makes three major points, as originally reported by NCR’s John Allen.
Tom Watson, a Forbes magazine contributor who focuses on technology and social change, is the latest commentator to wake up to the Pope Francis phenom.
Under the headline "Social Media Star: Peace, Love and a New Understanding," he writes: