National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Pope Francis

Francis may write first encyclical on poverty, sign Benedict's on faith


Pope Francis may write his first encyclical, a high and authoritative letter from the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, on poverty, several Italian media outlets are reporting.

Additionally, the new pontiff may give his signature to an encyclical being completed on faith by the retired Pope Benedict XVI.

While new popes have been known to complete encyclicals begun by their predecessors, Italian Bishop Luigi Martella has said the retired pope is still working on the document, which Francis has then agreed to sign and promulgate. 

When Jesuits and Franciscans come together


Now let’s see if I have this straight.

The Jesuit, Jorge Bergoglio, gets elected pope.

He takes the name “Francis,” after the founder of the Franciscan order, St. Francis of Assisi.

The Jesuit pope, in his first major appointment, names a Franciscan, Father José Rodriguez Carballo, the head of the Franciscan order and president of the Union of Superiors General (USG), the umbrella group for representatives of men's religious orders, to be secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious.

Pope Francis officially de-emphasizes papal titles


Pope Francis has possibly de-emphasized a number of the formal titles normally taken by the leader of the Roman Catholic church, choosing instead to list himself first by the basic title "Bishop of Rome" in the Vatican's annual directory.

The directory, known as the Annuario Pontificio​, lists the Vatican's official information regarding church leaders and dioceses throughout the world. Release of the 2013 edition was delayed following Pope Benedict XVI's resignation in February and Francis' election in March.

The Mind of Francis: International Diplomacy


Like his two immediate predecessors, Pope Francis has no experience in international diplomacy. In the past, many popes like Pius XII, John XXIII and Paul VI came from the Vatican diplomatic corps. With many years of service as Vatican diplomats, these popes were comfortable as statesmen with a diplomatic roles. They already knew the Vatican line on international issues, and if they wanted to change it, they did it consciously.

The Mind of Francis: Capitalism, Jobs & Globalization


It is well known that Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., was not a fan of liberation theology, but that does not mean that Pope Francis is a supporter of unbridled capitalism. In 2000, he acknowledged in On Heaven and Earth the role of private property, but said it "carries with it the obligation to put it at the service of others within just parameters."

He noted that the church is not only against Communism but also "against the wild economic liberalism we see today." In Latin America, "liberalism" describes what we in the U.S. would refer to as economic libertarianism.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

November 20-December 3, 2015


Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.