Pope Francis – A reformer!?!

jesuits1Okay… I just put a post up this morning about the Apostle Peter rising and become alive again in Pope Francis. It’s all very strange. The site that I linked to is a Catholic site and dedicated to commentary regarding the Catholic Church. Here’s a blurb…

“CatholicCulture.org is run by a non-profit (501 c 3) corporation, Trinity Communications. The board and officers of Trinity Communications are Catholic laymen faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, who seek to enrich faith, strengthen the Church and form Catholic culture according to the mind of the Church.

Trinity Communications draws special inspiration from the outstanding Catholic vision and wisdom of Pope Benedict XVI.”

I thought to myself…. I must check out what else they say about Pope Francis! So, I had a look… and it is quite an eye opener. So I meander my way to the site and found an article that piqued my interest. Why? Well, the title of it had me really interested. It’s called, “The early signs are clear. Pope Francis is a reformer.” Interesting.

Reforming what I ask. How do they come to that conclusion I wonder. Well check out the following…

Will our new Pope fulfill those hopes for reform? The very first acts of his pontificate show that he is pointed in that direction.

First he chose the name “Francis.” Evoking the memory of St. Francis of Assisi, the name indicates a commitment to simplicity, humility, and wholehearted love for all of God’s creation. At the same the name conjures up memories of the message that the great saint received from God at San Damiano: “Francis, go, rebuild my house, which as you see is in ruins.”

That message that St. Francis of Assisi is pretty interesting isn’t it. Is this what this Pope wants to do, build up the Catholic Church. You have to wonder how he will do this, and what kind of house/church this will be. I have a feeling that ecumenical and interfaith pathways are going to be made, and in a way that hasn’t been seen before.

But there’s more…

Did you listen carefully to his words when he appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s? Pope Francis referred to himself repeatedly as the Bishop of Rome, and to Benedict XVI as the Bishop-emeritus of Rome. He never spoke of himself as the Pope, and alluded to his new pre-eminence only indirectly, when he observed that the Church in Rome “is the one that leads all the churches in charity.” Was this another display of humility? No doubt it was, but I think it was something more. I think Pope Francis was laying the groundwork for a new understanding of the Petrine office: one that will drop the trappings of monarchical power and emphasize instead the role of the Bishop of Rome as the focus of unity for the universal Church.

Okay then. There seems to a MAJOR emphasis on Peter. This coupled with my post about the Apostle Peter becoming alive in this new Pope is just a tad weird. Don’t you think.

But wait, there’s more…

Why did Pope Francis visit St. Mary Major?

On Thursday morning the new Pope slipped out of the Vatican to pray at the basilica of St. Mary Major, provoking comment by the simplicity of his manner in the process. Why did he choose that particular church? Because St. Mary Major is the oldest church in Rome dedicated to Our Lady, the largest and the most prominent? Yes, yes. But there were other reasons:

  • While at the basilica, the Pope prayed before the image of Mary Salus Populi Romani: the protector of the people of Rome. Notice the reference to Rome again. The Pope is underlining his special commitment to the local diocese.
  • Next he visited the chapel where St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, celebrated his first Mass. Pope Francis, who has sometimes been disdained by his Jesuit confreres, shows that he holds fast to the best traditions of that religious order.

Mary worship, and in particular Mary the protector of Rome! Also he reaffirms his Jesuit teaching. If you don’t really understand much about the Jesuits… well, just see this article. Anyway all of the above quotes can be found HERE. You must check out that website for yourself and get the gist of what Catholics are thinking about their own Pope and the direction of their Church.





One thought on “Pope Francis – A reformer!?!

  1. Pope Francis is turning out to be a rather complex reformer, first appointing reformers to a committee on the Curia and then reaffirming the last pope’s rebuke of the American nuns’ group. In http://deligentia.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/pope-francis-a-reformer/, I argue that the pope is a reformer (and outsider) only in a narrow sense. That the traditionalists have borrowed the term “reformer” makes the matter more complex though stil explainable.


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