Pope Francis' best asset is his lasting popularity outside his own Church. His limits are his own physical capacity. He told reporters he gave himself "two or three years" before death. He does not rule out retirement before then.
Proselytizing limits the wildly beautiful story of God and God's people into a sample script. I agree we need more conversions in this world, but at least as many conversions need to take place within the Church as outside of it.
As I write this, the House has still not managed to pass a bill to deal with the border crisis. They've been trying for a few days now, but have been locked in a serious battle between Tea Party hardliners and Republicans from more moderate districts.
In John 17, Jesus said, "I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in m...
This anonymous little store will endure as the truest testament of what was there and all that was lost. It stands as the purest expression of memory possible: A memory encased in continuing function at the service of architecture and its modern demands.
Biblically informed observers observe that there is something biblically-nuanced about movements which, though obscure and once-powerless, are now changing the Christian Church in European and other parts, while the big and powerful churches rarely prosper. Yes, how ironic.
At all levels, the visit of Pope Francis to Jordan and Palestine was a huge success. For about 26 hours, everything was implemented as planned. And the few unplanned moments worked out quite well, leaving indelible memories and images.
Pope Francis has shown us a faithful, peaceful approach to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. All of us can follow his example. We are all Pope Francis now. It is up to all of us.
Pope Francis' trip to Israel beginning on May 25 is clearly an important visit, as any papal appearance is. Its greatest importance may lie in the fact that it reflects the normalization of relations between the Vatican and the State of Israel, not to mention Catholic-Jewish relations more broadly.
We have seen a great shift in this Vatican's tone. But what have we not seen? We have not seen the shift fully extend to the women of the church.
Who would have imagined that the third pope in 15 years will be visiting Israel -- the nation state of the Jewish people -- and Palestine and Jordan? This would have been unthinkable only a few decades ago.
While it might be argued that the Pope Francis's understanding about human sexual orientation, especially LGBTQ's is expanding, and his concern for the dignity and humanity of LGBTQ people is genuinely shown, the pontiff is still a doctrinal conservative when it comes to women.
Religious or not, one can't help but be drawn to how the Pope has humanized his role as the leader of the Catholic Church, one of the most powerful organizations in the world.
Does it surprise you that Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter and Pennsylvania's Governor Corbett were blown off by the Pope? Doesn't surprise me at all.
Pope Francis should certainly come to Philadelphia, but his visit should not be herald as a moneymaker for the city; instead it should be orated as a potential sacred moment for a city so deeply divided to heal.
The most remarkable thing about the Pope is that what he is doing should not be remarkable. He is simply doing what Popes and Christians should do - care for the poor, critique inequity, interrupt injustice, surprise the world with grace, include the excluded and challenge the entitled.