Pope Francis –“The Great Reformer” – just keeps shaking things up. We’ll take a closer look at the motivations of the Pontiff moving the Catholic Church and the world.
Pope Francis kisses a statue of the baby Jesus as he arrives to celebrate a New Year mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Vatican City Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. (AP)
The year is young. So is the time of Pope Francis. Without turning a single element of Catholic Church doctrine, the first pope from Latin America – from Argentina – has somehow turned the world’s sense of the Church and its mission and the papacy in a dramatic new direction. We have to “flip the omelet,” says this humble, potent pope. We have to put the interests of the poor first. And that’s not all he’s up to. Pope Francis is the most compelling new figure to come on the world stage in a long time. What drives him? This hour On Point: my guest says we’ve got a radical Pope. Understanding Pope Francis.
– Tom Ashbrook
Austen Ivereigh, writer and journalist. Author of “The Great Reformer: Francis And The Making Of A Radical Pope.” Founder of the Catholic Voices project. (@austeni)
Phil Pullella, senior Italy and Vatican correspondent for Reuters. (@philippullella)
From Tom’s Reading List
Reuters: Pope urges united fight against slavery, human trafficking — “Pope Francis urged people of all religions and cultures on Thursday to unite to fight modern slavery and human trafficking, saying in his first Mass of 2015 that everyone had a God-given right to be free. The service at St. Peter’s Basilica marks the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace.”
New York Times: ‘The Great Reformer': Austen Ivereigh on Pope Francis — “Mr. Ivereigh’s book is particularly good on Pope Francis’s Jesuit background and the effects of his provincialate on the Argentine Province. There are times when you wish for a firmer editor’s hand (for example, in the lengthy descriptions of Argentine politics) and greater sourcing. (We are told that his objectives in the Dirty War were set by the Jesuit Superior General, but with no footnote.)”
National Review: Who Is Pope Francis? — “The issue of Francis and women remains a curiosity. He admires strong women, and his close women friends have all been, like Rosa, bold and unconventional. He has said often — he said it as archbishop — that the Church needs a ‘theology of women.’ He doesn’t qualify this: He doesn’t say a ‘better’ theology or a ‘new’ theology. He thinks we need to start from the divine character and purpose of femaleness as distinct from maleness and work from there. What he says about the importance of women can sound a little mystical or even mystifying, but one thing’s for sure: He likes and enjoys the company of women and counts women, even now as pope, among his closest friends and collaborators.”