Friday, August 2, 2013

My Man, Francis

I doubt that I would still be involved in the church today at all, had it not been for Pope John XXIII.  He became pope at the very age I was being introduced to religion.  Although he died when I was only 10, I later benefitted from his efforts to, in his words, “throw open the windows of the Church and let the fresh air of the spirit blow through.”  Vatican II changes to liturgy and -- let's face it -- attitude came into being during my teenage years.  It was tremendously exciting and pretty much hooked me on theology and philosophy for the rest of my life.  (I remember that when I was in in high school, one year of CCD consisted of hearing outside speakers on various topics, one being on -- as I particularly remember -- situational ethics.  The entire project would be unheard of today.)  Anyway, I look back on the golden age of Catholicism as the period from 1965 to 1980.

Now, for the first time in many years, I'm getting excited about Catholicism again.  It has hasn't reached my local chuirch and and probably won't for many years, but something new is definitely happening with Francis.  He won't change the rules, but -- and this is more important -- he's changing the focus.  When was the last time we heard something like this from the Vatican:
Every economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one's own human potential.  This is the main thing; in the absence of such a vision, all economic activity is meaningless (emphasis mine).
Anyway, for one person's account of the Francis' papacy so far, here's  WHO AM I TO JUDGE? FRANCIS REDEFINES THE PAPACY.

Pope Gives In-Flight Press Conference

1 comment:

James R said...

Your quoted paragraph immediately called to mind philosophical ideas of John Rawls and his difference principle. I would think that any pope would be well instructed in philosophy, but, perhaps, Francis is more knowledgeable here. At least it appears he hasn't lost all his knowledge, sense and sensibilities that often seem to happen to others when they are elected to a high office.

Also, with the article you linked, it was nice to see he's apparently not so concerned with doctrine, something most mistake, in this age of science vs. religion, for religion.