Francis' message is clear: as people and institutions, we need to be welcoming, not defer to the dogma of powerful, hierarchical authorities. This is more and more the lesson taking off in my field as well, where a powerful concept of recovery is spreading.
The Jesus story is still out of sync with the way we treat females. Rather, we're still out of sync with Jesus. Women are still abused, raped, killed, marginalized, belittled and insulted.
This personal and institutional modesty appeals to many U.S. Catholics, especially those who had been put off by the seeming arrogance of the Vatican. Reflecting this change 88 percent of U.S. Catholics think Francis is doing a good job in his role as Pope.
Pope Francis is a man who wants us to understand each other no matter what our differences may be and to do our best to help one another. And that is the core of what every religion should be.
Let's begin on what Pope Francis has done just last year as we are now in this brand new year of 2014. He ditched the Papal limousine, and instead is driven around in a regular car. He refused the traditional gold Papal cross, yet instead chooses a simple silver one. And there is more.
Popes no longer ride the sedia gestatoria. They no longer wear the triple tiara. But other aspects of the monarchy remained firmly in place until the auspicious year 2013.
He lives in a Vatican guest house rather than the ornate Apostolic Palace. He gets around in a Ford Focus. In his recent, startling critique of capitalism, he called on the free world's most powerful organizations to have a conscience.
In America, most of us celebrate a new year on January 1, according to the Gregorian calendar. But some parts of the world have different traditions.
A look back at the sand slipping through the hourglass that was 2013 and very few of the headlines circulating reflect on a positive year. We remember...
My book has generated a lot correspondence from people all over the world. Few have been negative. The rest are a combination of affirming supportive emails and emails from those who have been hurt by the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality.
Welcome back to our annual year-end awards column! Part one of this column ran last week, just in case you missed it. We've got a lot to cover, so let's jump right in with no further introduction.
Say what you want about 2013. But before you dismiss it, cranky style, for being as lousy as any other year you didn't get everything you wanted from Santa, try to remember the few good things that happened in the last twelve months.
What would Jesus do about the profound inequality of opportunity that both the pope and our president have identified as the most pressing moral crisis of our time? It is a timely question to ponder when many of us honor the purported moment of Christ's birth with a last-minute burst of shopping.
Both popes face the daunting task of restoring confidence in a religious institution rocked with scandal both sexual and financial. Can he restore the faith of fallen-away Catholics like myself, who could no longer bear the dichotomy between institutionalism and morality?
One who would preach the gospel effectively must, like Jesus, identify with the vulnerable of the earth, stand with them, and be a voice for their liberation.
The new Christmas will overshadow the oh-so-sappy Valentine's Day and the all-too-awkward "Presidents Day." (Blend two birthdays and then shut down the mail? Is that any way to honor our most heroic leaders?)