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Pope Francis and the Catholic ‘glasnost’

Pope Francis and the Catholic ‘glasnost’

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter contends that by moving toward the center, Pope Francis has launched nothing short of a revolution in the Catholic Church:

Revolutions are funny things. Some are launched by one group but hijacked by others … Still others fizzle out, while a handful eventually produce new systems that, despite their flaws, really do change the world. …

It’s too early to know which trajectory will apply to the upheaval launched by Pope Francis, in part because at the level of structures and personnel he still hasn’t made many sweeping changes, and in part because the parallels are inexact anyway — Catholicism, after all, is a family of faith, not a political society.

Perhaps the lone certainty is that a revolution is, indeed, underway. In mid-July, the Italian newsmagazine L’Espresso ran a cover story on the new pope under the banner headline “Ce la farà?” The phrase translates roughly as “Will he make it?” or “Will he pull it off?”

There was no need to explain what “it” meant — everyone, it seems, knows that Francis is trying to engineer a Catholic glasnost.

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Count me with JC and Gary. Rhetoric and an excited media only go so far. Until performance match words — speech-act reality — I ignore this hype. Everything Pope Francis has said so far perfectly accords with Roman Catholic doctrine (i.e., anti-gay and anti-women, however one parses it). God bless him for his change of tone and gestures to voluntary poverty, but until Pope Francis teaches something different in re gays and women, the Incarnate One suffers.

Brian Sholl

Gary Paul Gilbert

A revolution from above is easily hijacked by more authoritarian forces. The notion of an enlightened despot is an oxymoron.

Rome is still five hundred years behind the Reformation.

Gary Paul Gilbert


Meanwhile, gay school teachers continue to be fired by RC schools, for the crime of getting married. So, I guess, wake me when the “glasnost” has happened (when the “infallible” boss has MADE it happen).

JC Fisher

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