Pope Francis’ statements of late -- on solidarity with the poor, on the need for community and on refocusing the church’s energies away from a narrow focus on sexual issues -- may sound shocking to some. This is a much different tone than the image of the papacy in recent times.
The Francis Chronicles
Pope Francis today met with members of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations and Catholic gynecologists, and spoke of the current paradoxical situation of the medical profession, Vatican news reported.
Who is Blessed Imelda and why does Pope Francis like to invoke her name?
In his historic interview with Jesuit editors for La Civiltà Cattolica and America magazine, Francis referred to Blessed Imelda in discussing his work as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, especially during the time when the country was under the rule of a military junta.
In the wake of an extensive Pope Francis interview in America magazine published online today, Equally Blessed, a coalition of Catholic organizations working on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families, called upon the U.S. bishops to end their “multi-million dollar efforts to marginalize LGBT people.”
It said it viewed Francis’ interview statements like “rain on a parched land.”
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.