Despite this well-documented need for and benefits of contraception, the Pope opposes any effort to give women the right to control their own reproductive destiny. You cannot claim an affinity for the poor while promoting the very policies that ensure the poor will remain ever so.
Today, with his address to Congress, Pope Francis gave a call to action. And I heard a specific "to do" list: End the death penalty, poverty, hunger, rampant capitalism, the exclusion of immigrants, war, the arms trade and environmental destruction.
The Pope has said, "The goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be." Our criminal justice system is a striking example of the reverse.
In this age, it is particularly encouraging and hope-filled that the face of global Christianity belongs to Francis -- a view shared by many.
Pope Francis and Donald Trump are savvy politicians, whose contrasting styles of rhetoric and tone have made them two of the best showmen/salesmen of the 21st Century.
With criminal justice reform a key piece of the Pope's message -- and one that goes far beyond that of the cost of incarceration -- he may be able to exploit this post-partisan moment and move some hearts, minds and ideologies toward real reform.
I'm not sure if the Pope will say anything about divestment, but in a way, it's irrelevant: his moral call to action is so clear that there is no doubt in my mind he supports the effort. His presence alone will help electrify the divestment movement here in the US.
Setting: Philadelphia, PA and South Jersey. The week before the Pope's September 2015 visit to Philadelphia. Characters: Everyone in the Philadelph...
Leadership is about inspiring and enabling others to do their absolute best together to realize a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose.
In an era where "cultured despisers of religion" -- a term used by Friedrich Schleiermacher two centuries ago, critiquing the prevailing ethos of Europe during his day -- fail to note the power and feeling of authentic faith and practice, the mission of Pope Francis to America comes at a pivotal moment in world history.
Economic inequality is not about food stamps and homeless shelters. It is about being a devotee of social justice and equality. Pope Francis has reminded us that these issues are not political issues - they are moral issues. We must always strive to remember that fact.
As we have seen, Pope Francis is not just paying lip service to those reforms - he is embracing them wholeheartedly. And yet, there is still work to be done.
It's not an unusual profile of a Catholic family in the U.S. these days. A Pew survey on the eve of the pope's visit confirms that one in four Americans raised Catholic are now "ex." Millions more are somewhere between "in" and "out."
Pope Francis' message is firmly grounded in the teachings of Jesus and Christian doctrine as applied to the broken world we find ourselves in today. What is new is that we have a messenger so powerfully capable of conveying this message.
My fears and doubts once clouded my ability to see clearly. There was a time I believed that the Church would never accept me for who I am and that I could never find happiness in life as a gay Catholic. So thank you, Pope Francis, for welcoming me back to the Church.
Ichthys will be placed on a letter to the Pope that will be sent to him on the eve of his visit. The letter, which anyone can sign online, thanks the Pope for his leadership on climate change and urges the signers to consider his message.