Francis has introduced the possibility that the spotlight of moral judgment can can be shone back on those who make the judgments, and on their very act of judging.
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John Henry Newman once said of the laity that the church would look foolish without them, and from the beginning the synod did indeed look foolish without us.
Aside from restatements of the teaching on sexual morality, there were glimpses of how a spirituality of discernment could infuse the church in its mission of mercy.
Pope Francis made two surprising announcements in Italian archdioceses—steps to change "the mentality and complexion" of church hierarchy. He’s run into opposition.
Engagement rather than denunciation marked the synod’s formal pronouncements, a pastoral style deeply rooted in Vatican II, and embodied in everything Francis does.
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While several cardinals in his own curia voice opposition, Pope Francis apologizes to church for "scandals that have occurred recently both in Rome and the Vatican."
Standing in that endless, pointless line, I realized, wasn’t communicating our affection for the pope but our acceptance of the authority of the security state.
For those listening carefully in the House chamber, Pope Francis will have presented some quandaries that they are more ready to ignore than to engage.
Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics was debated, and dismissed, at Vatican II. Fifty years later, the debate continues, but with a difference.