It does appear that Pope Francis has, to date, reflected the "culture of solidarity" he called for in Brazil, but does this really mean that we are looking at a potentially different Catholic church?
As a Catholic nun for seven years I saw the power of the Catholic Church in making and breaking rules, baptizing and excommunicating members, and throwing a heap of guilt on those poor souls that miss their mark of perfection.
We are "gravely disordered," "afflicted with evil tendencies," our relationships constitute a "troubling moral and social phenomenon," and "a destruction of God's work," which "threatens human dignity and the future of humanity itself," but the Church somehow deeply respects us?
If we do choose to praise Pope Francis, we shouldn't see this as a divergence from his previous comments, because much of Pope Francis' teachings preach inclusion for those on the margins, whether the poor, or uneducated, and now the sexually marginalized.
In his visit to the favela, speaking to the poor, the pope also used some words dear to me--"social justice," "solidarity," "inequalities"--that I believe are at the heart of what we need to be thinking about as Christians in the modern world.
Pope Francis I arrived in Brazil Monday to begin the first trip to Latin America of the first Latin American pope. Whatever your views on his mission, it is a historic visit, with potentially broad implications for the region.
Matthew Fox offers advice to Pope Francis on dozens of hot-button issues that were mostly silenced by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Imagine an issue that you might care about and it is here. Birth control. Pre-marital sex. Ordaining women. Looking to more than the Bible and Church tradition (nature, science, creative arts, imagination) for God's revelation.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) will investigate widespread sexual assault against children by Catholic clergy. "We ...
For me, I deeply admire John Paul II, but John XXIII is a great hero. For some friends of mine, that statement would be reversed. But all, I hope can rejoice today.
Francis must take a different approach than his predecessor, and must meet openly and publicly with the Dalai Lama as a spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. Francis must not allow the whims and demands China, notorious for its abuses of religious freedom, dictate the statements and choices of the papal office.
Bible stories are hot and Hollywood studios are rushing to cash in. Although these films are capitalizing on public interest in the Bible, the bestselling book of all time, and the heroes and villains of religious history, there is one story, says filmmaker Armondo Linus Acosta, that has never been made: The Last Supper.
When I speak about WYD, I compare it to an elephant, one you gently prod to move where you'd like it to go, but knowing at any moment it could overpower you. If we knew how big WYD would become, we would have been afraid.
Having railed against gay marriage back when he was in Argentina, only to lose that battle, he may be seeing that the handwriting is on the wall and that he's got better things to do. And that can only be a loss for anti-equality advocates who hoped the pope would loudly lead their crusade.
The postmodern intellectual is also more closely associated with business and sales than in the past. Today, everyone markets themselves and everything is a business. Even academic institutions resemble business institutions.
For those of us outside the institutional Church, who nevertheless hope for it to grow out of the era of scandal and focus on its great good works, Francis is fast becoming a beacon of hope.
Where to go when in search of a LGBTQ-friendly higher power? Believe it or not, they are out there, but you have to know where to look, and how to peel away layer upon layer of spin doctoring to get to the fundamental truths.