So far, so good, but there’s much work to be done. That is Bishop Gene Robinson’s appraisal of Pope Francis’ first year, offered in The Daily Beast.
Bishop Robinson writes:
Pope Francis has, so far, only changed the tenor and tone of the voice of the Church he leads. That is no small thing, of course, when most Catholics and non-Catholics alike experienced his predecessor as aloof, hierarchical, and pretentious.
Perhaps most dramatic in that change of tone came in his question, after he was asked about gay priests: “Who am I to judge?” Who indeed? His immediate predecessors seemed not to hesitate in heaping judgment on homosexuals, women (especially those who made the excruciating decision to have an abortion), the divorced, and a vast array of people who fell short of the Vatican’s moral ideal (exempting at times, of course, members of the Church’s own clergy and hierarchy from those same ideals).
How odd that the leader of the Catholic Church would make big news, espousing an attitude promoted by Jesus of Nazareth himself. Jesus dramatically lived out the command to “judge not,” so why would it be such news when his followers (not to mention the Pope!) would follow in his humble, non-judgmental footsteps?! It is only a newsworthy development because there had been little evidence of non-judgmental and loving acceptance by his predecessors.
How do you think the new pope is doing so far?