We used to call John Paul II the “pope of surprises,” but Francis clearly has demonstrated that he’s more than capable of pulling a rabbit out of the hat himself. Today’s surprise announcement that John Paul II will be canonized along with John XXIII seems to tell us at least three things worth knowing about the new pontiff.
Pope Francis issued his first encyclical entitled "Lumen fidei" or “The Light of Faith” today.
Vatican radio described it as a work of “four hands”, begun by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who passed on his draft for the new pope to complete.
Pope Francis confirms that Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will likely be canonized together within the year.
Lumen fidei insists on integrity of faith, but also gives open arms to "seekers" of the post-modern world.
On the outside chance some NCR readers might have missed some of Pope Francis' tweets, I've gathered some of them here. These nuggets of spiritual wisdom date back to mid-May:
We cannot live as Christians separate from the rock who is Christ. He gives us strength and stability, but also joy and serenity.
A Christian is never bored or sad. Rather, the one who loves Christ is full of joy and radiates joy.
Let’s learn to lose our lives for Christ, like a gift or a sacrifice. With Christ we lose nothing!
NCR Today: The fact that Pope Francis has chosen Lampedusa for his first visit outside Rome on Monday is anything but casual.
The appointment of a papal commission by Pope Francis to examine the Vatican Bank has been greeted in the media as a bold move and a key step in reforming the bank. I wish I could be as enthusiastic.
To me it looks like the traditional Vatican approach to dealing with a PR problem: Appoint a committee, mostly clerics, who have no expertise in the topic under study and ask them to come back with a report.
Sorry, we expect more from this papacy.
NCR Today: The move could indicate that Francis intends to take a personal interest in the bank instead of relying on others to make decisions in his name.
NCR Today: A couple of papal stories from the weekend have been overblown, leading to speculation where there shouldn't be any.
Journalists should “be uncompromising against the hypocrisies which result from the closed, the sick heart,” said Pope Francis to a group of Jesuit journalists. “Be uncompromising against this spiritual illness.”
Telling journalists to attack hypocrisy might sound suicidal to most church leaders, especially after more than two decades of investigative journalism on the sexual abuse crisis, but it shows how much Pope Francis hates the vices he believes undermine the Gospel message: clericalism, careerism and hypocrisy.