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?
I would argue that the greatest honor anyone can pay to the faith traditions of others is to seek understanding, to show respect, to engage in dialogue and to pursue friendship. Pope Francis excels in that realm.
Such a story is raising hope among activists and progressive Catholics, many of whom have left the church behind but still recognize its potential power as a source for good in many parts of the world.
We're stuck in an economic system and a belief system in which money is no longer a mere medium of exchange but an end in itself, the accumulation of which is crucial to one's individual survival but toxic to our collective survival.
I like the new guy, Pope Francis. He's not perfect, and neither is the institution, but this guy's a rebel. I think Jesus -- you know, the guy who chased the investment bankers out of the temple -- would like him too.
The King King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue plans to address theological and practical issues that contribute to tensions with a religious dimension.