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Encouraging signs from the Vatican

Encouraging signs from the Vatican

What am I hoping for with the new pope? As someone who was baptized as a Catholic and now worships in the Episcopal Church, I’m hoping he will work to bridge the chasm between those who follow the faith of my childhood and those who adhere to other faiths and traditions. I am hoping he is all about the love of God, caring for the poor, respecting the dignity of every human being. In my lifetime, I would like to be welcomed at communion in a Catholic church, just as we welcome all baptized Christians to the Eucharist in my adopted denomination.

I am heartened by how Pope Francis carries himself, and how he spent his first day as pope. Vatican watcher John Thavis writes:

One of the first things a new pope hears is, “Holy Father, it’s always done this way.”

In his first 24 hours in office, Pope Francis has already given indications that he may not be intimidated by those words, as he creates his own style of being pope.

That was clear from the moment he put on his papal robes, donning the simple white cassock but declining to wear the ermine-trimmed red cape known as the mozzetta, which was left hanging on the wardrobe in the Room of Tears.

To Vatican officials who offered him an elaborate gold pectoral cross to wear around the neck, he said he’d prefer to keep his very simple cross that he’s worn as a bishop. He accepted the congratulations of cardinals not seated on a traditional throne-like chair, but standing up and greeting them one by one.

After his blessing last night to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square and to the world, Vatican aides told the pope a limousine was waiting to take him to his temporary quarters in the Vatican’s residence building. The new pope said he’d rather take the bus back with the cardinals – and he did.

I’m also heartened by this report from Anglican Communion News Service:

The new Pope has reportedly said the Church universal needs Anglicans and that the Ordinariate is “quite unnecessary”.

In a note released after the election of the first ever pontiff from Latin America, the Anglican Bishop of Argentina and former Primate of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, the Rt Revd Greg Venables said Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was “an inspired choice”.

“Many are asking me what is really like. He is much more of a Christian, Christ centered and Spirit filled, than a mere churchman. He believes the Bible as it is written.”

“I have been with him on many occasions and he always makes me sit next to him and invariably makes me take part and often do what he as Cardinal should have done. He is consistently humble and wise, outstandingly gifted yet a common man. He is no fool and speaks out very quietly yet clearly when necessary.”

Bp Venables added that in a conversation with Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, the latter made it clear that he values the place of Anglicans in the Church universal.

And here’s what the Archbishop of Canterbury had to say about all this yesterday.


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rick allen

Very true, JCF, but not because of Elizabeth’s sex. She was preceded by the Catholic Queen Mary, and the questioning of Elizabeth’s right to rule (born, as she was, while Henry was still, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, married to Catherine), was to clear the way to Henry’s next heir, Mary Stuart, the next closest direct descendant of Henry VII. The sexes of the contestants had nothing to do with it (except for Knox, and his unhappily-titled “First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women.”)

And I think your caution is commendable. FWIW, Snopes votes “fake”:

We have genuine differences. But surely it’s best to be accurate about what those differences are, and how far they go, and don’t go.


Sorry, can’t go for a “fabrication or not” ethic. That link you gave us, Ann, doesn’t provide an ORIGINAL source link. I’d say the quote is fishy (no pun intended) until proven otherwise (which it may well be—proven legit. I just don’t know).

Well, in the 16th century, I believe the Pope declared the throne that Elizabeth I (Tudor) was sitting on, to be “vacant”. Don’t think Cardinal Bergoglio went THAT far vis-a-vis Presidente C. Kirchner! Baby steps. ;-X

JC Fisher

Harriet Baber

Fabrication or not, whichever way you cut the cake, this guy isn’t going to reverse the RC Church’s position on women. The RC Church is committed to the view that gender is theologically significant, and that men and women are suited to different roles. And that is unacceptable. Period.

Ann Fontaine
rick allen

Harriet, a number of websites now say that that quote is a fabrication, from the last few days. A young friend of mine brought it to my attention, and was distressed by it, naturally. I did just a little googling, came up with the purported Spanish original, “las mujeres son naturalmente ineptas para ejercer cargos políticos”, and it does indeed seem to be of quite recent provenance.

Can’t tell entirely, of course. But with fake Twitter accounts, and the usual suspects making the usual accusations, a little caution might be in order.

Three will, of course, always be a few who no amount of evidence will convince that the Nazi in Pradas wasn’t successed by the fascist misogynist.

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