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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pope Francis: A Poor Church Rich in Humility

Fifty years after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Pope Francis set about implementing the spirit of the letter after the two last popes had concentrated on holding the Roman Catholic Church in check lest it lose itself in accommodating itself too much to the modern world. On the surface, the pope’s “vision of Vatican II has translated into a dramatic shift in priorities, with an emphasis on social justice over controversial moral teachings” such as on abortion and gay marriage.[1] Calling out the clerical obsession on the “social issues,” the pope sought as he assumed the papacy to provide his colleagues with a dose of perspective. To be sure, the pope did not alter the Church’s position on those issues or on whether divorced Catholics should be allowed to take Communion. Nor did he act on his demand for a “poor church for the poor.”[2] Rather, his main concern was directed against the “theological narcissism,” as he put it, that imposes rather than proposes to the larger secular society.[3] I submit that the pope's primary objective was to change a problematic clerical attitude rather than to rid the Church of its wealth or drastically change the Church's moral stances.

The full essay is at “Pope Francis.”



[1] Francis X. Bocca, “The New Rome,” The Wall Street Journal, April 4-5, 2015.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.